9th June 2012 – 10th June 2012
Pune – Rajgurunagar – Khed- Wada – Bhorgiri – Pune
The plan was hatched, the dates were fixed, Shutter School had planned an overnight outing with sole intention, photography and lots of fun. There is a very unique association with Shutter School outings, mostly marred by bad weather or bad lighting conditions, the food sessions are awesome. The afternoon of 9th June, the assemblage was to huddle up at usual Barista on FC road, but thanks to the arrival of the POTRI (President of The Republic of India) the meeting point was Rajguru nagar. (MAP)
After a lot of frantic last minute plan changes and passenger arrangements, 5 cars, 18 people, headed for Bhorgiri.
The road from Rajguru Nagar onwards to Bhorgiri was picturesque, thanks to the intermittent spells of rain. The sky was contrasty and made a perfect silhouette for the mountainous landscape. The idea was to make use of the light till sunset. The period between 5pm to 7pm being the golden hour, proving ample opportunity to use ambient light and get some gorgeous photos.
The drive towards Bhorgiri was via a few small hamlets along the way. About 52 odd kilometres, we passed villages like Khed and Wada on the way. The Chas Kaman dam on the way and its backwaters lined up nicely along the route. The best part about the yet pristine and somewhat virgin locations are that they devoid of too many people. There are no unwanted wires and lamp-posts that spoil your frame, and almost anywhere you turn your head the picture is worth clicking. The challenging part of photographing such landscapes is, how do you take an already beautiful scene and make it spectacular. Such trips often provide you with that opportunity to put some extra effort in your work and notch it up a bit.
I look forward to such times, since it gives you the perfect chance to practice, all that you have read and get a first hand experience of being comfortable in your surroundings and your equipment. I had been fretting quite a bit for not carrying a wide angle lens, but since this was an overnight shoot and i wanted to travel light, bare minimal equipment had to be taken, and my trustworthy Minolta 50mm was my companion, and what a splendid decision it was. I was pleasantly surprised with beautiful shots I managed.
The light drops pretty quick in these areas, our plan was to make a night halt at Bhorgiri. We were all carrying packed dinners and snacks, Shailendra was carrying all ingredients for “आल्याचा चहा”. After docking in the entourage all efforts went into making our hot beverage, I have never seen anyone piston the gas stove as vigorously as Shailendra did, but the wind God’s had other plans. The stove just would not light up. Eventually the priest of the temple offered to help out and Mrigaya and Shailendra managed to boil the tea then. The end result of this mammoth effort were 18 tea-fulfillled souls and Shailendra being rightfully christened as ” पिस्टन काका “
Pitch dark surroundings with overcast skies, it was not the best time for night photography and star trails. The temple where we were housed for the night had some dense forest behind it. This forest was infused with fire flies. Ram and few others decided to try out some long exposure shots with these bioluminescence lighting bugs. It was simply fantastic to see Ram in action, the speed at which he thinks and improves on every shot. Zero ambient light made seeing anything impossible with naked eye, composing a shot in such an environment and getting all the camera adjustments right requires a hell lot of dedication and passion for your craft. The effort was all worth it, you have to see some of his photos to believe that.
Some music is a must at such outings, and Bhushan Mate provided just exactly what was required, His soulful renditions lifted the mood and guitar chords echoed in the open surroundings. Lots of “गप्पा” and tonnes of leg pulling, all the additional quirkiness provided by Suhas. It was unimaginable, no one seemed tired, so snoozing off was not an option. But the plan was to wake up early for the Bhorgiri trek, so some shut eye was a must, but this time around rain Gods had other plans.
Just about 2 am, it started pouring, and pouring quite heavily. The open corridors of the template meant some of us were drenched. Everyone scrummaged to save their gear and stop their bags from getting wet. An unexpected green reptile tried to ambush into our group, A baby, vine snake, green in color was spotted by Shailendra. Prashant and Manoj disposed it a distance but the resilient fellow had no plans of going away yet. He began crawling back right away. This was another reason for most of us to have our blinkers off. The cool outdoors suddenly got chilly, the rustling of leaves began getting eerie. The rains quietened down after some time and I actually forced myself to sleep. The sleeping bag did not provide much comfort and the nagging ankle began nagging even more, it actually hurt. With no other aid and the sleep being the only option which would provide any relief.
Not sure how many hours I actually slept,but the morning was welcome change, since no one woke in time for the trek and the on and off rains, plans for early morning shoot were called off. It was time to pack up and head on home.
Of course before we bid good-bye’s, the ever so famous Shutter School breakfast had to be done. Gorging in on the Misal Pav at Khed, the group disbanded, only looking forward to more outings now that monsoon is going to set in.